Entries in Christmas (21)


throwback thursday: christmas table setting

This week has been so incredibly long that I feel like a little throwback is in order to bring a little Christmas spirit to the old blog here.  And what better way to do it than with a table setting I did last year for the holiday season!  Red is definitely not a color that I use on a regular basis in my decor but it brought just the right pop of color to the table last year with a linen runner I found at TJMaxx the year before.  And when you pair it with bamboo flatware, rattan covered glasses and water hyacinth chargers, it feels so fresh and modern and still a tad bit coastal, which, of course, I'm all about.  The French wine glasses are a staple around here and look so pretty next to the woven glasses (I got mine at HomeGoods, but here is a similar set).  I finished the table off with some clippings from the green giant arborvitae on the side of the house and stuck them in an antique silver pitcher; if you really want to add some sparkle, a string of battery-operated twinkle lights would look amazing! 

If you're looking to treat yourself to something special this holiday season, I can't recommend this bamboo flatware set enough! I hope you're all having an amazing week and gearing up for an equally wonderful weekend!


christmas table setting 

Red is a color I love to wear but rarely ever use in decorating.  While I tend to stick to silver, gold and white when Christmas rolls around, this year I just couldn't resist a little pop of red when planning my table for Christmas dinner.  I found this linen hemstitch table runner last year at TJMAXX and have been waiting for the perfect time to use it, and with the plate hutch and all my ironstone platters providing a crisp white backdrop, it's just the right amount of color to add a cheerful touch for the holiday! 

I'm keeping everything else super neutral and playing up the texture with water hyacinth placemats from Ikea, my French wine glasses from Crate and Barrel, woven tumblers from HomeGoods and my new, AMAZING bamboo flatware (more on that to come!).  A few clippings from my green giant arborvitae out back in a silver hotel pitcher in the center and that's it!  I always look for something to dress up my every day dining/entertaining basics and this year the red runner was it - I especially love how amazing it looks with the rattan, water hyacinth and bamboo.  When in doubt, I always add some color and some texture! I can't wait to have everyone sitting around this table on Sunday and Monday and this red is really growing on me, I must admit.  The best part, for me, is that it is completely unfussy.  How are you decorating your table this year for Christmas?

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a New Year of health, happiness and success!


how to keep your christmas tree fresh until new year!


Picking out our Christmas tree is something we wait all year for!  In a perfect world, I'd get mine the day after Halloween, but living in the South, where it's warm and muggy until right about now, usually means our trees are extra crispy just in time for Christmas itself.  The last three years, though, and so far this year (knock on wood) we've had the best luck keeping ours fresh all the way until New Year - and I'm not just talking about keeping it alive, I mean soaking up water twice a day, smelling amazing and still soft to the touch!  I realize many people are ready to take their tree down the day after Christmas, but there isn't anything I love more than curling up on the sofa with a glass of wine and a movie under the soft glow of white twinkle lights for as long as I can push it!  The secret is two simple steps, but they make such a huge difference! 

First, make a fresh cut at the base.  (I do this even if the vendor says he just did it because I'm a tad OCD and also because I like to keep an inch cut off the base, mark it with the year and keep it with our Christmas stash!) 

Next, I use a 1/2 inch or 3/4 inch drill bit to drill two or three holes in the base of the tree, depending on how big the bottom is.  This helps the tree guzzle water like you wouldn't believe!  I had a couple in my toolbox from when I made mini pumpkin taper candle holders; I found mine at Lowe's.

And that's it!  Seriously, it couldn't be any easier.  Just be prepared to check the water level on the tree a couple times a day at first; for the first week, I ended up adding water three times every day.  Now, I fill it up first thing in the morning and then again around dinner.  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend and are gearing up for a fabulous week! xx


last minute christmas gift ideas

Christmas is less than a week away and, with the exception of a gift for my dad (he's always the hardest person in the world to shop for), I'm feeling pretty good about the fact that I finished all the rest of my shopping over the weekend!  This is the first year in a long time that I'm done with time to spare; I always have the best intentions of starting early but I'm usually the one running around town and hitting up Amazon and getting my money's worth out of my Prime membership!  There's still time to get some pretty fabulous gifts, though, so I rounded up some of my favorite finds that I've blogged about a lot here on the blog that are fabulously priced and would make for a beautiful gift if you're in a pinch!

This tortoise ice bucket was my favorite gift last year.  It looks so chic on a bar setup and I've used it many times as a makeshift vase, too!

A preserved boxwood wreath adds a festive touch all year long and this one from Target is so well priced for such a generous size!

I don't know anyone who wouldn't love a blue and white ginger jar.  This one is a beauty and so budget-friendly!

A gorgeous set of marble cheese knives that are on sale right now for $15 (I got a set for myself and one for pretty much everyone I know who loves to entertain)

A Boat, A Whale and a Walrus is still one of my favorite recipe/entertaining books to gift and it looks so pretty on a bookshelf or coffee table, too!

My oversize clam shell, one of my favorite decorative accessories is on sale right now at ZGallerie.  Or, surprise that special someone and get the even more ginormous one!

A Diptyque candle set is the exception to the price-friendly gifts here but I love it so much for a best friend or sister because it's not typically something they would buy for themself!

This blue and white swirl vase looks gorgeous with big, fluffy hydrangea blooms!

Obsessed with these brass pineapple shot glasses; these are great for the perpetual entertainer and they look beautiful displayed, too!

I've spent a small fortune on myrtle topiary, only to kill them weeks later so I refuse to purchase any more for myself but that doesn't mean I wouldn't take one as a gift, haha!

A brass monogram door knocker for the monogram-obsessed!

This leopard lumbar pillow is bananas in person!

I bought this gold platter for a friend and loved it so much, I wanted to keep it for myself.  Perfect for serving cocktails or a bedside display!

What are some of your favorite gifts to give?


7 fab christmas gift ideas that won't break the bank

I had high hopes for posting a bunch of holiday gift guides but I've been so overwhelmed with trying to figure out what I'm getting my own family and friends that it's just not going to happen this year.  I think Christmas is the perfect time to get carried away wasting money on things that you normally would never buy someone just to have a gift to give, which is why I'm always freaking out over trying to find unique, meaningful items for everyone.  It's exhausting.  This year, I've decided to keep it simple and so, instead of gift guides I am posting some of my favorite items to give friends and family - some of these I've given time and time again.  Most are on sale right now and all of them are super affordable!

My Atlantis clam shell is my favorite decorative accessory, going on almost a decade now!  It's on sale right now over at ZGallerie and I think it would make an amazing gift for the home decor afficionado, lover of the beach or anyone who appreciates pretty things!  I've used mine to hold everything from fishing floats and pine cones to Christmas ornaments and, this year, clementines, and it makes an equally lovely statement on its own.  One of my favorite gifts to give (and get, of course!)

I love, love, LOVE a preserved boxwood wreath but they can be pretty pricey.  This 22 incher by Smith and Hawken stopped me in my tracks on a jaunt to Target a few weeks ago and at $45 you just can't beat the price OR the size! I hung mine by a navy and white striped grosgrain ribbon in my entry and it will be a welcome pop of color and interest once all the Christmas decorations are put away!  It also comes in a smaller size for $20 here.

A Boat, A Whale and a Walrus is one of the most beautiful cookbooks EVER; I included it in one of my holiday gift guides last year and it's become of one of my favorite gifts to give since!  The photos are absolutely gorgeous, the recipes delectable, but what I love most is that it reads like a story by chef and restauranteur Renee Erickson.  This is THE perfect gift for the hostess or cook in your family or circle of friends!

A tortoise ice bucket is my latest obsession for hosting during the holidays; I use it to chill wine or as a makeshift vase and it even looks chic on its own on a bar cart or tray.  I found mine at Furbish Studio; I've had it out on my kitchen counter in a little bar setup for the holidays and and it makes me giddy every time I look at it! 

I don't think you can ever go wrong giving a beautiful coffee table book; whenever I'm in doubt as to what to get someone, nine times out of ten this is what I end up giving.  With Amazon Prime, you can have them delivered to your door in less than 48 hours, making this the perfect last-minute gift idea!

I love to give barware essentials because, let's face it, the holidays are all about celebrating and having fun with family and friends and, for most of us, that includes a cocktail or two!  Gold-rimmed stemless champagne flutes, a brass anchor bottle opener and Drunken Sailor coasters are lovely, witty and classic!

A set of beautiful, blue and white Chinese bud vases makes a great stocking stuffer or, pair it with a gardening or entertaining book for your loved one who enjoys having fresh blooms in the house.  I found mine at TJ Maxx, but Wisteria has a gorgeous set of four for $35 with an additional 25% off with code DECEMBER25.

What are some of your favorite gifts to give again and again??